PARIS, September 19 (RIA Novosti) - The French arm of Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM has announced Air France pilots extend the strike that started September 15 until Friday September 26, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
It was expected that the week-long strike over Air France's plans to expand the low-cost operations of its Transavia brand by setting up foreign bases will finish by Sunday. However, pilots announced on Friday that the strike will continue, with the airline operating at 45% of scheduled flights.
Air France-KLM Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac said Thursday that pilots and management were preparing for a new round of negotiations, according to RMC radio.
"I am asking the pilots: come on board with us," Juniac told RMC radio. "Negotiations are not over, we are starting again this afternoon."
Air France suggests its clients changing dates of flights or returning tickets. However, the company fails to address all the incoming support calls. Air France promises to provide accommodation to those passengers who got into difficulties at the airports.
Currently there are more than 3,700 pilots working for Air France, which exceeds the needs of the company. Company's management plans to send the substantial part of the pilots to Air France's affiliated company Hop and Transavia, a Dutch based low-cost airline operating as an independent part of the Air France-KLM group. The company's employees have agreed to the transfer, but claim that their social welfare benefits and status should remain unchanged, as well as the level of wages. Pilots also protest against the reduction of staff.